Indian woman sets a record as ‘First woman’ in the world to complete winter expedition in the Arctic Circle with two young children

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Indian woman sets a record as ‘First woman’ in the world to complete winter expedition in the Arctic Circle with two young children. This is whilst she is receiving cancer treatment. First Indian origin children to hoist the flag of India (The Tiranga) in the Arctic circle.
Bharulata and two young kids, returns back safely after successfully completing their winter expedition in the Arctic circle setting a record.

Determined, fearless, tough, strong will power- that is Bharulata Patel-Kamble is known for. She dreams big and achieves it. But this time she undertook a winter expedition in the Arctic circle with two young children, only after just over two months after her life changing Cancer surgery including removal of an organ, and whilst suffering with pain and discomfort from the injury sustained. She drove without any back up crew or a backup vehicle.

Their story of driving through the Arctic circle as winter expedition is full of struggles and challenges seemed almost like a Bollywood plot – alone with two young children, the Arctic Circle, 14 countries, driving over 10,000 kilometres in temperature as low as -15c in one of the most remote and loneliest part this plant with only few hours of day light (from around 9am to around 1.30pm). They drove through in extremely hostile weather condition on completely frozen roads and major part of their drive was in dark due to extremely less day light in the Arctic Circle.

The team trio (team of mum and 2 kids) drove through, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, Sweden, Finland before heading to Nordkapp in Norway. The journey in to the Arctic Circle began from the iconic Santa Claus village Rovaniemi in Finland. The team travelled through narrow roller-coaster roads in Arctic Circle passing through 5 tunnels one of which is 7 kilometres long going approximately 700 feet below the sea level under the sea. The team also drove through the northernmost public tunnel in the world.

The drive trailed through some of the extreme, lonely, windy and hilly roads of the Arctic Circle. They met with extremely hostile weather condition during the expedition and were affected by the snow storm and wind storm, with wind blowing up to 20 meters per second. The Arctic storm brought snow as far as in many parts of UK and brought in extremely cold weather condition, so one can imagine weather condition they faced in the Arctic Circle itself.

This expedition makes Bharulata the first female in the world to undertake winter expedition in the Arctic circle with two young kids, without any back up crew or a backup vehicle, and makes her two boys the first kids on the Arctic circle expedition. This is the first such expedition in the world of mum and children, and the children are the first children on the Arctic expedition and first Indian children to hoist the flag of India (The Tiranga) in the Arctic Circle (northern most drivable mainland point). They have written new chapter in the chronicle of astounding human achievements and certainly written a record on India’s name for the Arctic Circle motor sport expedition.

The expedition involved unique driving experience as well as many challenges and required excellent driving skills to manage mountain driving in heavy snow. The Arctic drive requires skill, good navigation and anticipation, finding the best route as many roads are closed off in the winter, and careful driving in totally frozen road. The target was to reach the top of Europe at North Cape, to make it to the border with Arctic Russia, to experience Lapland. In terms of latitude, the road gets to within nineteen and a half degrees of the North Pole. The Arctic Circle is the outermost circle of latitude counted from the North Pole at which the sun does not set at the summer solstice. It is also the outermost line, counted from the North Pole, that joins the points at which the sun does not rise above the horizon at the winter solstice. This phenomenon is called the polar night, midday darkness or midwinter dark.

Imagine a place in the far north, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Arctic Ocean and their frigid waters mix. That place is Nordkapp – the North Cape – in Western Finnmark, Northern Norway. With its cliff face jutting into the sea, the plateau rises 307 metres above sea level. The aim was to hoist the flag of India (The Tiranga) at Nordcapp, which was achieved once the Arctic Wind Storm settled a little. The team trio reached the Nordcapp but faced the Arctic windstorm of wind being 20 meters per second. It was difficult to remain on ground let alone the flag hoisting. They waited patiently for a two days for windstorm to settle so the flag can be hoisted. The flag of India was hosted with the National Anthem next day when wind was a bit less around 16 meters per second (still very windy).

In September 2016 Bharulata set a record as longest distance drive within the Arctic circle covering driving 2792 kilometres inside the Arctic circle in just 39 hour, and became a first in the world woman to undertake solo Arctic Circle expedition. Bharulata is the first woman to reach Nordcapp twice and totally unaided and she superseded/ broken all previous records of Arctic Circle, setting a new record.

1) In 1927, Mrs Victor Bruce drove with her husband, journalist and an engineer from England to the Arctic Circle and drove 400 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. They drove through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and ended their journey about 250 miles (400 km) north of the Arctic Circle.

2) In 2013 Ms Kim Bridges Professor of Botany (retired) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, from Honolulu did the journey from West Coast of USA to the Arctic Circle. It is unclear from the information whether the Arctic Circle journey was done with car or a ferry. However, even if it was done by car then it was for matter of 300-400 kilometres inside the Arctic Circle with another friend.

3) In February 2016 Beijing biddies drove in a group of five women to the Arctic Circle to Nordkapp in Norway. This was a different type of challenge. They drove UK, through France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway to Nordkapp. Their journey inside the Arctic Circle was around 1700 kilometres and certainly not solo.

Bharulata Patel-Kamble Born in Navsari district of Gujarat and married to a surgeon (Urologist and Robotic Surgeon) of Maharashtrian origin from Mahad in Raigadh district. She, reflects her patriotism through her actions that rose up for a noble cause. She leaves behind a message for all of us; that while looking around finding our passion, our heart is where we should start  discovering.Bharulata Patel-Kamble is not new to arduous road journeys, but this time she is on a unique road journey with her two kids Priyam (13 years) and Aarush (10 years).

The expedition aimed to raise cancer awareness in ‘Indian females globally’. The expedition would also promote ongoing campaign ‘Save Girls, Educate Girls’ (Beti Bachoa, Beti Padhao). This was a plastic free expedition and ‘Says No to Plastic’ and probably the first such plastic free expedition so far.

This expedition was an enormous undertaking and contagious thirst for discovery of the grandness of all that is possible in the world, so that other humans are inspired to discover and fulfil their utmost potentials. It is showing the power of an individual, and what we are all proficient of doing, if we follow our heart through our action.

Bharulata is well known for her successful solo drive through the Arctic Circle and 32 countries in 2016 covering the distance of 35,383 kilometres. She was also the first Indian woman to hoist the flag of India in the Arctic circle in 2016.

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